Enneagram, a word that has sparked debate in the Christian world this past year. In favor or against, this system has been talked about for sure! But what is the Enneagram? What does it mean? Should we be worried about its origin?
What Is the Enneagram?
The Enneagram Institute describes the origin of the Enneagram as a “modern synthesis of a number of ancient wisdom traditions” but was put together by Oscar Ichazo.
Today, it’s seen as a way toward introspection. The Enneagram is a system of nine points or nine personalities. Each of them are interconnected to make up a circle.
What Does the Enneagram Mean?
Within the Enneagram, there are nine points in the circle that represent nine different personalities. While we all have aspects of each of these personalities within us, we each have a dominant personality number. So, let’s go through them to better understand the Enneagram!
1. The Reformer, “I must be orderly/planned to survive.”
The Rational, Idealistic Type: Principled, Purposeful, Self-Controlled, and Perfectionistic
2. The Helper, “I must be helpful and caring to survive.”
The Caring, Interpersonal Type: Demonstrative, Generous, People-Pleasing, and Possessive
3. The Achiever, “I must be impressive and attractive to survive.”
The Success-Oriented, Pragmatic Type: Adaptive, Excelling, Driven, and Image-Conscious
4. The Individualist, “I must be unique/different to survive.”
The Sensitive, Withdrawn Type: Expressive, Dramatic, Self-Absorbed, and Temperamental
5. The Investigator, “I must be knowledgeable to survive.”
The Intense, Cerebral Type: Perceptive, Innovative, Secretive, and Isolated
6. The Loyalist, “I must be secure and safe to survive.”
The Committed, Security-Oriented Type: Engaging, Responsible, Anxious, and Suspicious
7. The Enthusiast, “I must be fun and entertained to survive.”
The Busy, Fun-Loving Type: Spontaneous, Versatile, Distractible, and Scattered
8. The Challenger, “I must be strong and in control to survive.”
The Powerful, Dominating Type: Self-Confident, Decisive, Willful, and Confrontational
9. The Peacemaker, “I must maintain peace/calm to survive.”
The Easygoing, Self-Effacing Type: Receptive, Reassuring, Agreeable, and Complacent
Why Do We Care?
It’s good to be cautious of information people adopt so quickly, but when it comes to the Enneagram, it’s just another personality assessment. What’s different than any other test is the way that the Enneagram so accurately calls sin out to help us assess our sinful patterns and understand how they lead to destruction.
It doesn’t hold a greater weight than assessments like the Myers-Briggs Test. What does matter is how much personal stock we put into it. This isn’t the Bible and should not be treated as higher than such.
All in all, the Enneagram has been extremely helpful to a large number of people. They are becoming more in tune with why they do the things they do and why others might do things completely different than us.
If you want to know more about the Enneagram and hear what some of our pastors have to say about it, check out the Enneagram episode on the Page2Podcast!